Monsanto Loses to Beekepers of Yucatan Peninsula

The Yucatan Times Community Newsweekly

Beekeepers have succeeded in preventing, through two suspensions obtained in amparo (specialized protection), the seeding of transgenic soy for 253,500 hectares in Campeche, Quintana Roo, Yucatan, Tamaulipas, San Luis Potosi, Veracruz, and Chiapas.

59 organizations of beekeepers, environmentalists, and NGO´s have maintained that the amparos (or protections) granted by the second district court of Campeche, are setting a precedent to continue demanding the definitive suspension of permits that have been issued by SAGARPA to Monsanto.

The organizations added in their press release communication that they will not cease in their fight for production that is free of transgenic interference. They have been encouraged greatly by the recent Felipe Carrillo Puerto council, which approved the initiative to declare its territory a “GMO-free zone”.

The Felipe Carrillo Puerto council ruling signifies that the judges of Chiapas, Quintana Roo, and Yucatan have resolved in favor of the organizations that presented the initiative.

The producers interested in the seeding of transgenic soybeans “are at risk when investing in such cultivation, as there is now a strong opposition and legal and political struggle that this country be declared a GMO-free zone” stated the press communication.

During a reunion at SAGARPA, Simon Treviño Alcantara, director general of the Fomento a la Agricultura, assured that this year there will be no planting of transgenic soybean. He insisted that this seeding would affect close to 25 thousand families that survive in the agricultural sector.

Alcantara mentioned that European businesses have suspended the purchase of honey from Yucatan and Quintana Roo until they have evidence that the product is free of transgenic organisms.

Environmental groups, women, and community development organizations in Chiapas reiterated their rejection of transgenic planting of 30,000 hectares in the municipalities of Acacoyagua, Acapetahua, Cacahotan, Escuintla, Frontera Hidalgo, Huehuetan, Huixtla, Mazatan, Metapa, Suchiapa, Suchiate, Tapachula, Tuxtla Chico, Tuxtla Gutierrez, Tuzantan, Villa Comaltitilan, and Villaflores, as most of these areas are near protected natural zones.

The environmental groups argued that Monsanto sells to farmers who plant the transgenic soybean a required herbicide, Roundup Ready, whose formula contains glyphosate, a chemical that when dissolved in water damages plants, animals, and people.

Beekeepers blame Juan Elvira Quesada, Secretary of Environment and Natural Resources (SEMARNAT), in evading its responsibility in the approval of GM seed, this organization has the ability to issue an opinion to the SAGARPA binding so the institution can issue a final and negative decision to plant GM crops.

Kevlar Tires Now Required to Traverse ‘Spear-Like’ GMO Crops

Natural Society
by Anthony Gucciardi

The news surrounding GMO crops continues to get further and further outlandish as the crops are increasingly mutated and sprayed with a medley of harsh pesticides, herbicides, and insecticides. The latest news comes from an unlikely source — an automotive publication known as Autoblog. The website reports that farmers who have opted to plant Monsanto’s genetically modified seeds have run into one daunting problem (outside of decreased yields and an extremely higher risk of disease): little ‘spear-like’ stalks from the harvested GMOs are absolutely wreaking havoc on the heavy duty tractor tires.

Described by one farmer as a ‘field of little spears’, farmers are now turning to kevlar tires. In case you’re not aware, kevlar is the same material used in bulletproof vests to protect from gun bullets.

The stalks are so sharp and weapon-like that they can wreck an entire set of wheels, which is a daunting reality when considered that one tractor can have as many as eight heavy duty tires. Furthermore, a single tractor tire can easily cost thousands of dollars. Thanks to the GMO crops, the average lifespan of a tractor tire has dwindled from five or six years down to just one or two — if the farmer is lucky. Add that to the exponentially increased amount of pesticide use required to maintain modified crops thanks to heavily mutated ‘super’ rootworms and other insects, and it’s easy to see how GMO farming is nothing but a monetary pitfall for farmers.

Strange reports like these may ultimately be what it takes for the public to truly be concerned about genetically modified seeds and ingredients. Outside of the massive amount of research highlighting the damaging effects of GMOs on human biology, the environment, and nature as a whole, it oftentimes takes a bizarre incident such as this in order to fully gain the attention of the far-reaching press. The longer the use of GMOs is allowed nationwide, the more bizarre and outlandish stories will begin to emerge.

As if mutant insects, superweeds, decreased biosphere microorganism population, and direct organ stress weren’t enough, now Monsanto’s GMO crops can be easily utilized as a sharp and deadly weapon.

Gates Foundation Gives $10 Million to Support Genetically Modified Cereal Crops

Natural Society
by Lisa Garber

British scientists at the John Innes Center recently won a $10 million grant from the Gates Foundation. Where’s the money going? Not surprisingly, as Gates owns over 500,000 shares of Monsanto stock, the organization is putting even more money into genetically modified cereal crops (corn, wheat and rice, to name a few).

The pledge seems righteous at face value to some, but what the Gates Foundation failed to mention is that countries like Hungary, France, India, and Poland have battled GMOs because not only do GM seeds and pesticides decrease yields over time, but GM is bad news for farmers and consumers everywhere. Putting farmers in Africa in the pockets of the likes of Monsanto and other GM companies will only lead to crop monoculture, soil depletion, water contamination, pesticide-resistant insects, and a powerless local population of sick and impoverished farmers.

And this should be of no surprise to Bill Gates, who has openly stated that Monsanto’s GMOs are the ultimate ‘solution’ to world hunger yet continues to ignore the bounty of evidence showing that they do just the opposite — crushing soil yields and impoverishing local farmers.

Perhaps even more devastating is the rising suicide toll associated with the use of Monsanto’s seeds, with a farmer committing suicide every 30 minutes thanks in part due to GMO seeds.

Gates Foundation Ignores Fact that “GM is Failing to Deliver”

The John Innes Center’s aims include engineering crops capable of harnessing nitrogen from the air. Peas and beans do this naturally, but cereal crops—as raised by conventional farmers—require chemical ammonia spread upon the field.

Opponents of GM like Pete Riley, campaign director of GM Freeze, decry that “GM is failing to deliver.” He adds, “If you look in America, yields haven’t increased by any significant amount and often go down. Now we’re seeing real, major problems for farmers in terms of weeds that are resistant to the herbicides which GM crops have been modified to tolerate.”

This is old news to farmers in north India, where earlier this year the Maharashtra state government demanded compensation from a German seed company when unsatisfactory yields of their cotton hybrids disadvantaged small farmers.

“Productivity in north India is likely to decline because of the declining potential of hybrids; the emerging problem of leaf curl virus on the new susceptible Bt-hybrids; a high level of susceptibility to sucking pests,” said Keshav Raj Kranthi, head of the Central Institute for Cotton Research. In a paper published in June 2011, Kranthi added that GM crops consume more water and nutrients, depleting the soil and requiring farmers to purchase more fertilizers (putting more money in the hands of the likes of Monsanto).

The High Cost of GM

If the earth suffers, people suffer. In February, a court in Lyon, France railed against GMOs by finding Monsanto guilty of failing to put warning labels on Lasso weedkillers, the use of which caused neurological damage like memory loss and headaches. Dangers of GM end up literally on our—the consumers’—plates; consumption of GM crops has been linked to weight gain and organ disruption.

More courts across the world are fighting genetically modified food, but one wonders how much of an effect they will have in the face of behemoth agribusinesses.

New GMO ‘Agent Orange Soy’ Silently Backed by USDA

Natural Society
by Mike Barrett

Millions of pounds of herbicides are applied to crops around the nation each year. In one single year, 2006, 96.7 million pounds of glyphosate was sprayed on soybeans alone; this is a 20-fold increase from the 4.9 million pounds in 1994, the year before Monsanto’s Roundup Ready seeds were introduced. Well now, biotechnology giant and creator pesticides and herbicides, Dow AgroSciences is bringing forth brand new GMO soybeans and GMO corn to the market that will ultimately cause more herbicides than ever to be sprayed across the nation. What’s more, the USDA is all over the idea.

2,4-D Herbicide and Super GMO Crops

And perhaps even more startling than the drastic increase in herbicide usage is the fact that Dow AgroSciences’ new genetically modified soy is actually specifically designed to resist an especially toxic herbicide known as 2,4-D, a toxic compound used in the well-known Vitetnam War defoliant Agent Orange. Known to kill or maim at least 400,000 and cause an additional 500,000 birth defects according to conservative Viatnamese estimates, Agent Orange is one of the deadliest concoctions on record.

As of now, biotech giant Monsanto still has a tight grasp on the corn and soybean market, with approximately 90 percent of soy and 70 percent of corn engineered to drown in Monsanto’s best-selling herbicide Roundup. However, it seems that their control over this market may soon dwindle at rapid speeds, as Roundup is creating a whole new category of superweeds that are resistant to Roundup and the active ingredient in Roundup – glyphosate. These resistant weeds were expected by experts to cover at least 120 million hectares worldwide by 2010.

The solution up until now has been to simply spray more Roundup, but now Dow AgroSciences has come up with a new ‘solution’. Dow is creating new corn and soybean super-corps that are not only resistant to Monsanto’s Roundup, but will also be able to withstand large amounts of the company’s aforementioned ‘agent orange’ herbicide, 2,4-D. This way, farmers will be able to apply both herbicides to their fields, with the super toxic 2,4-D killing what Roundup cannot.

That’s right, instead of turning to sustainable and environmentally-friendly farming practices to combat super ‘mutant’ bugs and mega-weeds, the biotech industry is making even stronger and more dangerous super herbicides and toxic recipes.

What Dow is very happy about (while disregarding public health) is that the USDA has shown interest in deregulating both products, with the most recent signaled approval being in early July for the GE soybeans. In fact, the USDA put out a key a document in the regulatory process for GMOs known as the Plant Pest Risk Assessment. Not surprisingly, the USDA’s assessment of Dow’s soy ended with “highly unlikely to pose a plant pest risk.”

So what will be the outcome of all of this? Millions of farmland acreage to be drenched in more herbicides by the millions of pounds. Unfortunately, the claim to safety for the new GE products don’t mean much, as both herbicides and GMOs are consistently shown to cause some form of damage, whether that damage be to the environment, human and animal health, or the biosphere as a whole. Dow’s 2,4-D herbicide, like glyphosate found in Monsanto’s Roundup, is already present in drinking water supplies, so individuals everywhere are already consuming the chemical. But now, exposure to this herbicide is more than likely to exponentially increase, only to cause more complications.

Monsanto’s seedy legacy

Agricultural giant Monsanto is best known for their production of pesticides and genetically modified foods, but they have a controversial history as a chemical company with a slew of toxic cover ups. In addition to their battle against small farmers, the
newest buzz about the corporation is the speculation that their GM seeds are linked to the die off of bees.

YouTube